Category Archives: Elfin Forest

Judge Issues Tentative Ruling On Carbon Offsets For New Development | KPBS

San Diego County’s plans to approve thousands of new homes this summer could be hampered by a court’s tentative ruling this week.

A Superior Court judge has tentatively ruled in favor of the Sierra Club’s petition for a stay in a case involving how to compensate for increased greenhouse gas emissions from new housing development.

Sierra Club attorney Josh Chatten-Brown said the County of San Diego promised in 2011 to be a leader in fighting climate change. He said the county planned to offset increased carbon emissions from new housing developments with programs to improve air quality within San Diego County.

The suit says the county is now approving new housing developments but promising to mitigate for increased greenhouse gas emissions with carbon offsets elsewhere in the world.

The lawsuit attempting to block this strategy could set a precedent, Chatten-Brown said.

“Throughout the state, agencies are looking at San Diego to see what happens here, so I do think there is a real potential to have state-wide impact,” he said.

Chatten-Brown said the county needs to find programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the county, rather than buying credits in other parts of the world.

“There’s plenty of county land, including the port, in which there is potential to create offset projects,” Chatten-Brown said. “The county, for whatever reason, decided not to go that route and allowed developers to go international.”

The lawsuit could affect Newland Sierra, a proposed master-planned development of more than 2,000 new homes in North County that the San Diego County Board of Supervisors is poised to consider later this month.

San Diego, like the rest of the state, is facing a shortage of housing. The question of how to make up for increased carbon emissions generated by increased traffic is one of several hurdles the region is facing as it struggles to expand to meet the demands of a growing population.

Source: Judge Issues Tentative Ruling On Carbon Offsets For New Development | KPBS

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Coexisting with Coyotes: New Exhibit at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve Interpretive Center

The Escondido Creek Conservancy presents a new exhibit, Coexisting with Coyotes, which will be on display in the Interpretive Center at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve on September 5th through December 31st.

Coyotes are adaptable and found almost everywhere in San Diego County—including wild lands, suburban neighborhoods, and even in our cities. As coyotes continue to lose their traditional habitat and are driven onto human-occupied areas, the conflict between humans and coyotes has increased. Between 1998 and 2015 there were 90 reported coyote attacks on humans in California. In contrast, there were 2,446 documented cases of foodborne illness in California during this same period—so in effect, people are 27 times more at risk from their food than from coyotes. Nevertheless, coyotes do pose a risk to people and their pets, and public concern continues to mount. But coyotes are an important part of our ecosystem, and coexistence with them is possible, which is the aim of this exhibit.

Featuring puzzles, audio, art, taxidermy, and more, this interactive exhibit provides facts about these clever animals and dispels common myths. It also outlines specific things people can do to keep their family and pets safe while still keeping these beneficial creatures wild and free.

The exhibit was conceived by Dr. Adena Boxer-Capitano, a former veterinarian. She’s also an educator and a docent at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. She started the Coyote Coexistence Project and is dedicated to helping communities develop plans to coexist with the wildlife that share our neighborhoods.

The Interpretive Center at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is open seven days a week, 8:00-3:00, depending on volunteer docent availability. An updated weekly schedule of Interpretive Center hours can be found at https://elfinforest.olivenhain.com/.

San Diego County Fast-Tracks Waivers To General Plan For New Housing | KPBS

High on a hillside in North County’s unincorporated area, you can see new houses springing up on lots in Harmony Grove in the valley below. Elfin Forest resident JP Theberge said the local community agreed to 700 homes in this rural valley west of Escondido. But developers are now proposing 700 more, on land that was supposed to be protected from development. Theberge said none of the homes will be affordable, even to middle-class families earning San Diego’s median income.

READ MORE Source: San Diego County Fast-Tracks Waivers To General Plan For New Housing | KPBS

Supervisors to consider three large housing projects – The San Diego Union-Tribune

The first three of seven large housing developments proposed to be built in various parts of unincorporated San Diego County will go before the Board of Supervisors Wednesday for approval.Two are controversial; both are planned for the Harmony Grove/Elfin Forest areas just west of Escondido and south and east of San Marcos in a semi-rural pocket of the county surrounded by urban dedevelopment.The third is a much larger project in Otay Mesa that has limited opposition and has flown through the planning process.It is the North County projects that have nearby residents and environmental groups up in arms.The Harmony Grove Village South and Valiano projects combined would bring 779 homes to the region. When the local community planning groups evaluated both projects, they unanimously voted to recommend denial, citing traffic, fire danger and community character issues, among others concerns.

READ MORE VIA Source: Supervisors to consider three large housing projects – The San Diego Union-Tribune

3 Teens Rescued After Truck Goes into Creek in Elfin Forest| NBC 7 San Diego

Three teens driving around Elfin Forest found themselves in a dangerous situation Sunday when the truck they were driving was swept away by the strong current of a creek.

“We just kind of floated down river, like just kind of took us down and we kind of flipped over,” Ben Ripley and Ricky Heidt told NBC 7. “Our friend drove through that this morning and he thought he could make it a little after and we just took off and lost control of the water, flipping back and forth, on top of each other the car hit something.”

The teens had decided to drive through the creek for fun. The incident happened around 6:44 p.m. in the Elfin Forest. The rescue was complicated because of the tall trees around where the truck had gone in.

Source:  http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/3-Men-Rescued-After-Truck-Goes-into-Creek-in-N-County–367171981.html#ixzz3yw9MIyFu

Elfin Forest

Source: 3 Teens Rescued After Truck Goes into Creek in N. County | NBC 7 San Diego

The “Keepin’ it Rural” 5K/10K Hike and Trail Run

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An important fundraiser is taking place this fall (Sunday, October 25) at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. The “Keeping’ it Rural 5K/10K hike and trail run will take place in the upper part of the reserve (with the blessing of OMWD, TECC, EFHG Fire and RSF Fire). It is the first of many fundraising efforts we will be embarking on in order to put up a good fight against things that threaten the rural environment we cherish. I’ve included the details of the event below:

Here’s where we would love to have community support:

a) REGISTER FOR THE EVENT: we want as many residents of the Harmony Grove, Elfin Forest, Eden Valley and surrounding communities (and their families) to participate in either the 5K hike/run or the 10K run. It will be early in the morning so hopefully pretty cool and quite scenic. So click HERE to sign up for the event (or copy and paste this into your browser: https://www.runreg.com/the-elfin-forest-keeping-it-rural-5k10kletskeepitruralcom)

b) VOLUNTEER TO HELP: we ALSO need about 20-25 volunteers (water, registration, timing, direction, bag stuffing and other areas). Please let us know if you are willing and able to help. Anyone with EMT or CPR or first aid background would be appreciated as well.

c) SPONSORSHIP SOLICITATION: if you know of any companies that would like to be associated with the “Keepin’ it Rural” event, please reach out to them and see if you can get donations of cash, items, services. Sponsorships are crucial to making these events able to raise more funds than the entry fees.

Here are the pertinent details:

SCHEDULE: Registration starts: 6:45am | 10k Race Kickoff: 7:45am | 5K Race Kickoff: 8am

5K PRICING: $40 early bird (before 9/25) | $50 regular | $60 day of event. Includes finisher t-shirt and medal.

10K PRICING: $55 early bird | $75 regular | $85 day of
Includes finisher t-shirts as well as age group awards and prizes (SPY sunglasses for age group winners)

FAMILY FRIENDLY: 1K kids fun run, free with adult admission | Bouncy House and/or other kid friendly events.

EXPO/ RACE START: Staging area by the dam on Via Ambiente @ Harmony Grove Road | Beer Garden, expo, product giveaways, raffles and much more

LINKS:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/letskeepitrural
Twitter: www.twitter.com/letskeepitrural
Registration link: https://www.runreg.com/the-elfin-forest-keeping-it-rural-5k10kletskeepitruralcom

Thanks for helping to keep it rural.

JP Theberge and Dave Stainton, Event Co-Directors
and Board Members of the EFHG Town Council

Volunteer Opportunities with The Escondido Creek Conservancy

Escondido Creek Clean-up Campaign
Escondido Creek Clean-up Campaign
The Escondido Creek Conservancy is co-sponsoring a one-day creek clean-up event.  This is a wonderful way to make a positive impact to the local community, the watershed, and our ocean.  The date of the event is Saturday, September 19th, from 9:00AM until noon.  The site is located at 1845 Harmony Grove Road, which is an urban portion of the Escondido Creek.  Interested volunteers can get more information and register by going to the following link:
Elfin Forest Trail Patrol Volunteers Needed

For potential volunteers looking for a more on-going opportunity, we are seeking new recruits for out Elfin Forest Trail Patrol program.  In a nutshell, our Trail Patrol volunteers help maintain the trail system at the Reserve, provide information to trail users, and serve as ambassadors of our natural lands.

Volunteers are permitted to patrol on their bikes!  Scheduling is extremely flexible.  Volunteers make their own shifts any time and day of the week that works for them (within regular park hours, of course).  All we just ask that Trail Patrol volunteers perform, at minimum, three hours of patrolling per month.

To become a Trail Patrol volunteer you have to:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • allow us to run a background check
  • complete the training course that we provide
  • contribute a one-time $40 Trail Patrol application fee (of which $20 is a refundable deposit)
  • obtain First Aid, AED, and CPR certification
  • patrol a total of 3-hours per month (exceptions permitted)
The next Trail Patrol training course kicks off in this month.  It consists of two 3-hour sessions held on back-to-back Saturdays (9:00-noon September 26th and October 3rd).  There are only twelve more spots available and we only hold these trainings once every four months, so the sooner you sign up, the better.

Training course topics will include a thorough explanation of the program and volunteer duties, park rules & regulations, safety & security, trail maintenance techniques, nature interpretation techniques, identifying native and invasive plants, an introduction to local wildlife, and how to use the specialized communication radio.

For the uniforms, there’s a standardized hat and a short-sleeve and long-sleeve shirt that we provide.  When volunteers can no longer continue participating in the program we refund $20 of the $40 application fee upon the return of the uniform.  Volunteers are responsible for providing their own hiking shoes and green-colored pants/shorts of choice.

All Trail Patrol volunteers must also have up-to-date adult First Aid, AED, and CPR certification (which is separate from the regular Trail Patrol training course).  Since we don’t provide the certification ourselves, volunteers have to shop around the various independent certifiers in the area and sign up for the one that is most convenient for them.

Groupon has a limited time deal right now for this certification, done entirely online, for just $20 (which is an incredibly good deal):

www.groupon.com/deals/national-health-care-provider-solutions-san-diego
Otherwise, here are some other links for certification classes:
Once interested candidates complete the Trail Patrol training course and get the First Aid/AED/CPR certification they’re all set to hit the trails!
Contact volunteer coordinator Simon Breen for more information or to get signed up: simon@escondidocreek.org
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